I have met people in my life who live as “professional victims.” They live their lives with a chip on their shoulder about the way their life has turned out.
It is a sad thing to see people in such a state. It is painful to watch as they live their lives in a way that continually leads them astray. They have a view about who they are, and when they screw up it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that feeds their negative self-view.
There is a saying attributed to Maria Robinson, that goes along the lines of:
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
This is true of all of us. If we are in a position or place we don’t like, then we need to make the necessary changes to get out of where we are.
Time exists in three distinct zones: the past, the present and the future. This is the point of the saying above and it teaches us how to live and where to live in time.
You can tell what time zone a person is in by listening to what they say. When people are framing their lives around the past they use words like, “Back in the day…” or “I remember when I was younger…” or “Things were so much simpler when…”
But we can’t live in the past. The past is set in stone and it cannot be changed. What has happened has happened, whether for good or for bad, and there is no changing it. It is fixed forever.
The future on the other hand has not yet been written. It is the great unknown and like a will-o-the-wisp is not something that can be grasped. The future is impossible to reach or even catch sight of.
When people talk about the future it is often in terms of dreams and fantasies. “One day I’ll…” or “If only I could…” or “When I get…” and so on. These are just wishes that “something” will change to make their dreams come true. For most people they don’t ever happen and the dream remains a dream.
However, others talk about the future in more positive ways. They have a vision for what they want, and goals with a plan of how to achieve the vision. And we should remember that a goal without a plan is just a wish.
The ONLY time we can do anything about
This brings us to the third time zone, which is the present. NOW is the only point in time in which any person can live. Our lives are simply a succession of “now's” and are created by the decisions, choices and actions we take. Furthermore, where we stand today is the sum total of all of those decisions, choices and actions, all of the collective “now's” that have led us to where we are today.
That is the point of the lesson in the quote from Maria Robinson. If you don’t like the “now” you are living in, then you can change it “now” and create a different future. Like a ship at sea, the minute you divert from the course you are on, you immediately have a different destination.
The other point is that it is up to each of us individually to choose our own destination. We can “make a new ending” by changing the one time zone we have control over…NOW!
What you do NOW determines what will come next. What you do in the next “now” will determine what will come after that, and so on. And if we want or need to change our life, then NOW is when we need to start.
Now is the acceptable time…
The Bible tells us that if we want to receive God’s salvation then we need to think in terms of the right time to do something about it, and the right time is right now.
For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians chapter 6, verse 2)
And if we are going to change our lives, then we need to start with repentance. The word translated as “repent” in Greek is “metanoia.” It means literally to “change your mind” or “change your thinking.”
The essence of repentance is about change. If we want to be with Christ we must change our lives and walk with Him, and the time to do it is NOW. And what better way is there to start a new year.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375